Anyone in the science field...a question for you (An update, post 22)

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Chickerdoodle13, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I'm currently in my fourth year at college and I had originally intended to get a BS in biology. Since I didn't start off in a science major right away, I found out last week that I am behind about 20 credits which would delay my graduation until December (even if I take summer classes). I spoke to a few different people including a lady at academic advising and one of my biology professors involved in microbiology. My micro professor suggested going for a BA in biology instead of the BS. She mentioned that since I have taken all of the difficult courses (All the physics, chemistries, psychology course, microbio, and biochem) my transcript will look just as good as if I were getting a BS. I've done very well in all my classes and my current GPA is a 3.88. I'm also a business minor and she mentioned that people who take minors unrelated to their majors often opt for the BA because they would not have the time to complete all the courses required for the BS.

    The lady in academic advising was very impressed with my transript but she was sort of siding with "You're so close, why not just go for the BA?". For the BS, I would have to take four general biology courses in random subjects. Most of those would be completely unrelated to what I am actually interested in. I spoke to my dad and expressed that I am worried about jobs looking down on me for getting a BA in a science, but my bio professor reassured me that my transcript will clearly show I am talented in the sciences. When looking at grad schools, it seems as if it does not matter whether or not I have a BA or BS, just as long as I have the required classes for the programs. Same with Med school. I have all those required classes since I was originally intending to get the BS.

    So my question is: How much does it matter whether or not I have a BA or BS in biology if I took all the hard, core classes and did well in them? My dad doesn't think it is worth it to spend the money and stay an extra semester just to get a BS if the BA is sufficient. After talking with him, I feel better about going for the BA, but I want to hear your opinions. I know its difficult because I do not know what I want to do when I graduate. I do like microbiology research and I do have a semester of research under my belt (and possibly another next semester). If all else fails, I will apply to a biology masters program.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  2. ultasol

    ultasol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    SE Washington
    Depends on your plans. If you are planning on going for your MS, then you probably want to get the BS. If this is a terminal degree for you, then I don't see why a BA would be worth any less.
     
  3. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    I'd highly recommend the BS if you're interested in graduate school. If you want to go to grad school in Biology you also really need to have research experience to make yourself stand out. All of the top applicants will certainly have some experience. Having a BS and Lab experience can make all the difference between being accepted into a program or not. Good luck.
     
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    That's the thing - I'm not sure if I will go on to get my MS or start working out of college. My plan is to apply to a couple of local grad programs and apply to jobs at the same time. That way I'll have the summer to submit my resume and fill out applications, but if all else fails I will have grad school to fall back on. My worst fear is getting stuck out of college in a dead end job with no hope of going anywhere! Seems like too many college grads are ending up here these days. I'm also looking into internships as well. This is really what I'd like to do as it would be a nice transition from school to an actual job in my field.

    If I go to grad school, I think I would like to go for forensic microbiology or DNA analysis. That's what I did my research project on last semester and I found it fascinating. However, I'm just so undecided about it all!

    Just wanted to edit to answer the research recomendation: I actually did a semester of research last semester for graduation with distinction. I'm hoping to have another semester of research in microbio or biochem this coming semester. I will also hopefully present my research at a conference in Maine in April.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  5. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    Speak with a couselor for this... Ultimately the satisfactin and the way your carry yourself may be your guide... But for such important decisions.. I would speak to ppl that matter... Such as a future potential employer... or a few of em.. Find out from the horses mouth what they look for.. Let the end result light your path.
     
  6. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Quote:I hate the feeling that I have to make such a HUGE decision in such a short time. I already registered for my classes for next semester and did it as if I would get the BA instead of the BS, but it is not too late to switch my decision. However, soon all the classes will fill up! Lately all I feel like doing is pulling my hair out!

    My original counselor gave me some poor information and that's how I'm in this mess in the first place. I ended up switching to a new one and she is the professor I mentioned in my first post. She did mention the professor in charge of pre-med students usually recommends they take a BA (while taking all the hard courses) because it gives the students a more varied background. This was somewhat reassuring to me, but its still a difficult decision.

    Thanks for the advice so far guys. It's nice to hear from some people already "in the field".
     
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Chicker, what exactly IS your field going to be? Like what job will you be qualified for if you dont do the extra courses? And what jobs will you be qualified for if you DO do the extra courses?
     
  8. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Ok Lauren. The fact that you are even THINKING about graduate school tells me you need to take the hard path and finished the BS. Even if you don't go into a Masters program now, eventually you will. Trust me on this!!!! Everyone I have ever known that was interested in a masters at one has gone back eventually. My best friend just got her masters in marriage and family therapy, 25 years after her BS. PLEASE do it now. You will be so much better off later in life. Your choices will be easy ones instead of hard ones.

    Everyone I know who has never entertained the thought of a Masters is perfectly happy without it. I am serious. You WILL return to school, and may regret not taking the hard path earlier.
     
  9. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    That's the thing...I'm having a difficult time finding any information regarding whether the BS or BA will have any affect on my qualifications after graduation.

    What makes it really difficult for me is I don't really know what exactly I want to do when I graduate. I would be happy with a wide variety of jobs from public education (wildlife management, etc.) to research jobs. I love, love, love dealing with the public so I would love to land a job in public relations. When it comes to that, I don't think the BA or BS would make much of a difference. It would be more based off of transcripts, grades, and previous experience. However, I'm thinking research jobs would be more apt to look at someone with a BS rather than a BA. I keep getting conflicting information about what exactly employees look at in a college degree. I'm not completely set on a job

    Sometimes I think it might be nice to stay the extra semester, but financially and emotionally I don't think I could handle it. I'm so ready to just graduate. I'd also be way over my credits and my scholarship would not cover them. I'm already at 120 credits and you need 128 to graduate. If I went for the BS I would have to take 32 more credits (I think) which would put me WAY over the amount I need. This is mostly due to the honors classes I had to take to stay in the program. I could probably find a way to pay for it, but if I don't need to put myself into debt I would rather not.
     
  10. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Lauren it will not affect your qualifications for a job after you get your degree. What it will affect is the amount of classes you have to take when you go for your masters. It will greatly reduce the number of credits needed.

    ETA: You take the hard way now, or take it later. And if you choose to take it later you may not do it. Therefore affecting your future income potential.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010

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